October 2019 Download this article as a PDF

Welcome to the October issue of the Technology Innovation Management Review. This edition includes articles that were initially presented at a conference of the International Society for Professional Innovation Management (ISPIM), which took place June 16-19, 2019, in Florence, Italy. Florence has a reputation of being one of the most beautiful, creative, and innovative cities in the world, the home of such great innovators as Dante, Giotto, Brunelleschi, Verrocchio, and Da Vinci.

The conference itself was dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci: “Celebrating Innovation: 500 Years since Da Vinci”. Given the broadly defined conference theme, articles were presented that focused on diverse themes, some of which related to technology innovation management. The articles in this edition raise issues involving profound transformation in how we interact with technology in society during the information era, reflecting the view that a kind of new global digital renaissance is currently upon us. While there is no overarching theme that connects them, we believe they each provide in their own way an example of celebrating innovation.

The lead article by Marie-Christin Schmidt, Johannes W. Veile, Julian M. Müller, and Kai-Ingo Voigt, “Kick-Start for Connectivity: How to Implement Digital Platforms Successfully in Industry 4.0”, addresses the research question: “How are digital platforms best implemented in Industry 4.0 contexts?” It uses a qualitative case study design based on 32 semi-structured expert interviews to identify different triggers and initiators, challenges, respective countermeasures, and requirements for digital platforms, as core elements in the implementation process. The research insights contribute to existing literature on Industry 4.0 and digital platforms. In addition, the article discusses practical implications for industrial companies interested in implementing digital platforms in an Industry 4.0 context.

Michael Hartmann, Désirée Laubengaier and Kai Foerstl in “Live and Let Die: On the Management of Creativity”, emphasize the importance of feedback on creative ideas in innovation management processes. They draw on data from a single case study at a German multinational manufacturing firm, and show that there is flip side of managerial attempts to provide feedback and foster employees’ creative output. The authors identify distinct organizational practices focusing on idea generation, elaboration, championing, and implementation, and find that various practices can turn organized innovation management efforts into a political process. They present a virtuous and a vicious circle of managerial attempts to manage creativity in innovation processes. In doing so, the authors highlight the value of taking a practice lens to better understand the challenges in organized innovation management efforts. According to them, managers should flexibly design organized innovation management processes to account for radical ideas, and pay close attention to coherency in communication when providing feedback and encouraging employees to come up with creative ideas.

Lotta Haukipuro and Satu Väinämö's article “Digital User Involvement in a Multi-Context Living Lab Environment”, provides new insights on the long-term use and value of having a digital user involvement tool as part of a living lab, in this case one focusing on ICT, health, and public service development. The study was carried out within an authentic living lab environment between 2011 and 2018. The primary source of information was 70 in-depth interviews with customer companies, public organizations, and other relevant stakeholders. The results focus on the the tool's value for the digital user community in terms of the potential of users to develop new products and services. The key benefits for the community are the speed, ease, and efficiency of user involvement, regardless of time and location, and the richness and quality of the end-user feedback. The specific value categories are identified as Cost-efficiency, Timing & flexibility, Ease of use, Quality of results, User involvement, Open & closed participation, Multi-method approach, and Sustainability. A key finding is that online user participation methods should be utilized for solutions that are mature enough to guarantee high quality feedback.

Silje Svadberg, Andrea Holand and Karl Joachim Breunig provide a helpful (heuristic) framework both for theory and practise with their “Beyond the Hype: A Bibliometric Analysis Deconstructing Research on Digitalization”, by adopting a bibliometric analysis to explore extant published research within the field of digitalization. The authors identify key articles and present them in a way that allows distinguishing between interrelated digitalization concepts. They propose a taxonomy with characteristics corresponding to different levels of digitalization. The taxonomy suggests dimensions that create different commercial and organizational opportunities and challenges. It offers an opportunity for future research that focuses on innovation and strategy decisions that involve scalability, automation, channel selection, and connectivity. The authors offer a suggestion to companies that managerial teams can benefit from using the taxonomy for implementing digital technologies in their business model innovation, as a way of adopting Industry 4.0 practices.

The article by Kirsty de Jong, Urs Daellenbach, Sally Davenport, Jarrod Haar and Shirley Leitch, “Giving Science Innovation Systems a Nudge”, examines the role that contextual factors play in science innovation systems, as well as how stakeholders’ choices influence the orientations and outcomes of publicly-funded research. More specifically, the authors examine how policymakers and funding administrators can affect the decision-making behavior of researchers. The authors argue that there is a need for closer examination of the choice architecture for publicly funded research. Their aim is to understand how the potentially conflicting objectives of the different stakeholders can be pursued most productively through interventions that could form the basis of a novel, behaviorally-based toolkit for science innovation policy.

Martin D. Mileros, Nicolette Lakemond and Robert Forchheimer complete this issue with “Towards a Taxonomy of E-commerce: Characterizing Content Creator-Based Business Models”, that focuses on emerging business models within e-commerce. The authors characterize content creator-based business models by formulating a taxonomy of e-commerce based on a structured literature review that explores the application of concepts such as “social commerce”, “platforms', and “user-generated content”. The study identifies eight types of content creator-based business models. It outlines theoretical and practical implications for the emerging phenomenon of digital content creator-based businesses, which are referred to as “intellectual commerce”. One of the most interesting findings indicates that digital business-oriented content creators or professional amateurs intend to get reimbursed for their efforts, in contrast with traditional content creators. The study demonstrates a need for more research in this area.

This is the first of two issues with papers from the ISPIM Florence event, to be followed by a special edition on Artificial Intelligence set for December. For future issues, we invite general submissions of articles on technology entrepreneurship, innovation management, and other topics relevant to launching and scaling technology companies, and solving practical problems in emerging domains. Please contact us contact us with potential article topics and submissions, or proposals for future special issues.

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Keywords: behavioural economics, behavioural science, bibliometric analysis, business models, Buyer-Supplier Relationships, choice architecture, collaboration, consumer-to-business, Content creator-based business models, content creators, creativity management, digital platforms, digital technologies, digital transformation, Digital user involvement, digitalization, digitization, disruption, e-commerce, human-centered data economy, IIoT, Industry 4.0, innovation, innovation policy, intellectual commerce, Living lab, mission-led science, multisided platforms, personal data, research impact, social commerce, Supplier Integration, taxonomy, user-generated content